Dr Najia Musolino, CEO – International Society of Geriatric Oncology, Research Associate (ERDIE) University of Geneva
The societies we live in have tremendously evolved in such a manner that sedentary behavior is fairly prominent, with prolonged sitting periods at home, at work or even while commuting. Scientific evidence shows that after a peak in early adulthood, muscle mass tend to decline with age. This in turn leads to reduced strength and musculoskeletal functions. (1,2,3). Obesity, high cholesterol levels and physical inactivity are some of the risk factors associated with non-communicable diseases and reduced quality of life. According to the World Health Organisation in 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 650 million were obese (4).
The human body is designed to move. Without adequate activity, its functions tend to decline. Yet, for various reasons (professional, family, personal), far too many individuals do not have the possibility to integrate an exercise plan in their daily routines. Recognizing the benefits of practicing a regular physical activity and the increasing necessity of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, many individuals are constantly looking for innovative solutions and value for time and money.
Celebrating the global efforts of promoting physical activity benefits, and as part of a global community, we can take small steps as a strong means to preventing serious diseases. The vision of the Global Action Plan on physical activity of the UN2030 agenda is ‘more active people for a healthier world by 2030‘ (5). In this context of a worldwide movement for better health, each individual bears the responsibility of making positive changes for a larger impact. Simple incremental changes count.
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Leong DP, Teo KK, Rangarajan S, Lopez-Jaramillo P, Avezum A Jr., Orlandini A, et al. Prognostic value of grip strength: findings from the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study. Lancet. 2015;386(9990):266–73. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)62000-6.
Rantanen T, Volpato S, Ferrucci L, Heikkinen E, Fried LP, Guralnik JM. Handgrip strength and cause-specific and total mortality in older disabled women: exploring the mechanism. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2003;51(5):636–41. doi:10.1034/j.1600-0579.2003.00207.x.
World Health Organisation – Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018-2030, ISBN 978-92-4-151418-7